Jahn’s New York microregionals move out to the boroughs as Captain Bill Donovan (Murder on the Waterfront, 2001, etc.), taking his culturally diverse family for a day at the beach, investigates the murder of an evil real-estate developer.
Harry Caplan, owner of Surf Avenue News, had no use for a gonif like James Victor—especially after Victor made clear his intention to buy and tear down Caplan’s store and every other mom-and-pop operation on the block in order to build condos. But he didn’t expect to find Victor’s body in the basement, along with Caplan’s baseball cards. Afraid that the 1955 Duke Snider might go missing, Donovan and Brian Moskowitz, his pumped-up partner, take over the investigation from the locals, turning up a boatload of obvious suspects: Caplan, his tenant Charley Hennigan, Victor’s wife Chloe, and his TV actress girlfriend Lisa Fine. But nothing is quite what it seems in post–9/11 New York, and soon a whiff of Al Queda floats on the knish-scented air. A terrorist named Khalid al-Atash is killed by the feds, and Donovan’s old nemesis Yama Mojadidi resurfaces, leaving the wisecracking cop barely enough energy to buy a special-needs van for his son Daniel and brood over his biracial wife Marcy’s insistence that they move from the Upper West Side to the Village.
The local color’s good, although the terrorist high-jinks are no more compelling than Homeland Security’s latest Orange Alert.